Cause Branding

Attracting a New Audience

H&R Block Dollars & Sense

Campaign recognized by Forbes
$1 million
in curriculum donated

Challenge

H&R Block was perceived by too many people as “not for me” with many consumers feeling H&R Block couldn’t handle their complex tax returns. H&R Block needed to engage with customers outside of one interaction per year and find a way to broaden the appeal of the brand while not alienating its core clients.

Solution

To build a meaningful relationship with the target audience, Crossroads created a cause branding campaign that aligned 
with customer values. H&R Block’s Dollars & Sense program addressed the lack of financial literacy among teenagers. It taught high school students to be financially fit and to better manage their money, promoting real-world skills like balancing a budget and avoiding debt. Establishing a more personal relationship beyond tax preparation gave current and prospective clients a reason to do business with H&R Block rather than a competitor.

Results

In the first year of the program, H&R Block donated $1 million in personal finance curriculum to high schools nationwide. More than 2,000 high schools participated, and during the school year, online curriculum pages received more than six million hits. More than 3,400 two- and three-person teams competed in the H&R Block Dollars & Sense National Challenge, which was a huge success. More importantly, H&R Block Dollars & Sense was perceived as leading the charge to ensure America’s teens are prepared for the real world before they are in it. Forbes magazine has named Dollars & Sense one of the 10 most imaginative CSR campaigns.